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Travel group presses for visa changes
from POLITICO
The American travel industry is stepping up its political efforts dramatically in the nation's capital in hopes of making it easier for international business travelers to visit the United States. In particular, the group is trying to get Congress to pass legislation that would lead to innovations in the travel visa-granting process: introducing videoconferencing to conduct visa interviews in key markets; opening additional visa offices in key markets like Brazil, China and India; hiring new consular officers who are not in the foreign service but focus only on processing travel visas; and waiving in-person interviews for previously vetted applicants. More
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Want more jobs? Quit making it so hard for tourists to visit US
from Fox News
Every year, millions of foreigners want to visit the United States and tour our great nation. They also want to spend money here — lots of it. Unfortunately, our government makes it difficult for them to do so. As we debate creative ways to boost our economy, create jobs and cut the deficit, we should consider making it easier for foreigners to become U.S. tourists. More
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US introduces "Brand USA" to welcome world visitors
from Global Travel Media
The organization responsible for marketing the United States to world visitors has unveiled "Brand USA," America's first global consumer brand. Formerly known as the Corporation for Travel Promotion but now doing business as Brand USA Inc., the group introduced its global brand positioning and strategy before an international audience of travel professionals and destinations in London. More
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Obama orders cuts in federal travel spending
from Travel Weekly
President Barack Obama signed an executive order in November calling for federal agencies to reduce spending, including travel costs, by 20 percent — or approximately $4 billion, according to White House press secretary Jay Carney. The order calls for travel increasingly to "be limited to circumstances where the activity can only be performed away from the employee's primary office," such as inspections and diplomatic missions. More
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Travel association commends Obama administration
for signing APEC legislation

from Aviation Online Magazine
The U.S. Travel Association expressed its strong support for the robust travel facilitation agenda pursued by the Obama administration as part of its hosting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation leaders' summit in Honolulu. More
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Chances for long-term FAA funding bill seen as bleak
from The Washington Post
Prospects that Congress will resolve a bitter deadlock over long-term federal funding for aviation this year are slim, Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John D. Rockefeller IV, D-W.Va., warned. More
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Airline fine may send flight cancellations soaring
from The Associated Press via The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
The government's $900,000 fine levied Nov. 14 against an American Airlines affiliate for holding hundreds of passengers on board planes for hours on an airport tarmac might serve as a deterrent to future such incidents. But industry analysts warned that could come with the price of more canceled flights. More
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